My dad passed away very unexpectedly two weeks ago. We are reeling but know he is with Jesus. Here are the words I had read at his funeral.
Today we rejoice that my dad is heaven with Jesus. I’m thrilled for him, but frankly my world is tipped over on its side. A friend messaged me this week about the loss of my dad. She said “You may not ever know just how blessed you are to have had a father like him.” The thing is, I do know and I am indeed blessed. It’s really more about the parents we have than just dad or mom. I’m thankful God was gracious and that we will get to continue to walk alongside my mom. My dad was the ultimate provider when it came to his family. He provided incredible security, a godly example, but most of all, I knew that no matter what, I could always go to him and he’d take care of me. It didn’t matter how many times I had argued with him about something (and we did sometimes get after each other, we are, after all, human) or how many foolish choices I may have made, it didn’t matter, my dad loved me unconditionally. My mom and dad are a HUGE part of our lives. We speak on the phone very frequently, and recently we started texting-which was awesome- because those of you who know my dad, you know what a chatter he is! It’s a Wynveen thing… We Skyped frequently and mom and dad can’t really go more that 3-4 weeks without seeing us… okay, maybe it’s really Elie they need to see, but we were thrilled to get to see them so often in Goshen or wherever it is that we lived. My parents still come to my choral concerts and they love to watch Christopher conduct his orchestra. My dad is a proud papa, so involved in our lives, so concerned for our wellbeing, and he showed us his love by supporting us in all that we did. It will be hard not having an amazing cheerleader like my dad in our lives.
On Friday night as we sat dazed at Froedtert Hospital, and dad was still in surgery and it wasn’t looking very positive, I said to my mom and my sister “I’m just so glad that dad got to see me be a mom.” My parents walked along side of me for so many years knowing my very deep desire to be a parent. They supported me through every twist and turn of the whole inexplicable journey and ultimately they were a huge part of our adoption of Eliana. Eliana means ‘my God has answered me’ and those words certainly were true for me, and I know they were very true for my mom and dad. If you ever got to spend time with my dad and Elie at the same time, you know that the two of them have a very special connection; full of adoration for one another and full of unconditional love. Whatever Elie did, Popie always had to tell us about it even if we were standing right there watching it happen. He was just so delighted by her, he called her his little sweetie and sang to her all the time. I’m certain he’s playing some silly game in heaven with the little ones, it is when he is happiest. I’m so happy that my dad is with Jesus, but I am sad for our Elie because she will miss out on all the shenanigans of my dad as she grows up. We will make sure that she knows him.
We Skyped last week and the last thing we said was I love you. I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to see his face and that the last thing was I love you. I say I love you a lot to people. I mean it when I say it. I didn’t even in a million years think that last Sunday was the last time I’d see my dad. I don’t know who you need to say I love you to today, but get going because life is a vapor!
Lastly, my dad would want me to tell you that Jesus loves you. Despite the fact that in our humanness we struggle to understand why God does what he does, or some of us may doubt God even exists, that God is good all the time. God is sovereign, and he is just waiting for you to come to Him. People who love Jesus are not naïve fools, but rather we are saved by grace. More than anything, we want everyone to know the assurance and love that we feel, especially in our deepest times of grief. Please ask questions about Jesus, go figure out God’s plan for you.
I miss you already dad and I love you so much, Jessica